March 31, 2019

Pages 4080-4087
Whole Number 161

GEORGE SPARKS (ca. 1770-75-1840-50)

by Paul E. Sparks

[Editor's Note: Elizabeth F. Wilson Sacramento, California, is looking for proof that her husband's 3rd-great-grandfather was 101. George Sparks, a native of Gloucester County, New Jersey. He was listed as the head his household on the 1820 and 1830 censuses of Champaign County, Ohio, and on the 1840 census of Logan County, Ohio. Mrs. Wilson welcomes responses to her query.

[The Sparkses who settled in the early Champaign-Logan Counties area of Ohio have been the subject of two earlier queries in the Quarterly. The first, by Clara (Sparks) Snyder, was published on page 147 of the June 1956 (Whole No. 14) issue and pertained to a 101.2 Samuel Sparks (1800-1865) who was a native of New Jersey; he was married in Ohio to Mary Hurd (1805-1893) and died near Lincoln, Illinois. The second query was that of Fannie Jane (Sparks) Barnes and appeared on page 1219 of the March 1969 issue, Whole No. 65. Mrs. Barnes's query also pertained to this Samuel Sparks; she had evidence that it was in Logan County, Ohio, that he married Mary Hurd (or Heard).]

There is little doubt that the 101. George Sparks who was listed on the 1820 and 1830 censuses of Champaign County, Ohio, was from New Jersey. Two of his sons, 101.1 Isaac Sparks and 101.4 George Sparks, Jr., gave New Jersey as their place of birth when the 1850 census was taken. According to these censuses, George was born between 1770 and 1775. His wife was born ca. 1780.

George may have been the 101. George Sparks who married Phoebe Jane Flags on February 16, 1797, in Gloucester County, New Jersey. He was still in Gloucester County when he witnessed an inventory of the estate of John Flago (or Flags?) on November 28, 1812. Perhaps John Flago (or Flags) was his father-in-law.

As stated above, George Sparks was shown as head of his household when the 1820 census was taken of Champaign County, Ohio, and he was still there on December 20, 1828, when he bought a tract of land containing 82 and 314 acres from Benjamin and Mary Ann Sweet for $200. The tract was described as the Northeast Quarter of Section 20, Township No. 5, Range 11 and was located near or in the village of Urbana. The deed was witnessed by Elvin C. Sweet and Matthew Magraw. Magraw attested to the sale as "Mayor of the town of Urbana".

Two years later, on February 25, 1830, George Sparks and Phebe, his wife, sold a portion of their land to Jesse Dotson, Sr. and George Spearks deacons of the First Predistinarian regular Baptist Church of Buck Creek (organized at Abijah Wards)." The church gave George and Phebe $30.00 for 2j (?) acres of land. William Downs and Zephaniah Luse witnessed their signatures.

On January 9, 1838, George Sparks and Jane, his wife, sold the remaining 804 acres of their land to Philip Bowers for $900. The land was described exactly as it had been in the earlier deed of purchase, except 21 acres on the south west corner had been sold and was now the site of a brick Baptist meeting house. Joseph Ford and Uriah Ford witnessed the deed which was recorded by David Vance, recorder for Champaign County.

(Our readers will note that the given name of the spouse of George Sparks was Phebe when they sold a portion of their land to the Baptist Church in 1830; however, the given name of his spouse was Jane when they disposed of the rest of the land in 1838. This indicates that George Sparks may have been married twice, but we are inclined to believe that he was married only one time and that was to Phebe Jane Flags.)

George Sparks apparently sold his land in 1838 in preparation for a move to Logan County, Ohio, which is adjacent to Champaign County. He was listed on the 1840 census of Logan County. He was shown as between 60 and 70 years of age, and his wife was shown as between 50 and 60 years. He was not listed on any 1850 census of Ohio; he probably died between 1840 and 1850.

An analysis of the family of George Sparks, as enumerated on the 1820, 1830, and 1840 censuses, indicates that he probably had seven children, four sons and three daughters, and, although we can find only circumstantial proof, we believe that we can name five of them. They were Isaac, Samuel, George, Jr., Susan, and Sarah.

101.1 Isaac Sparks, son of 101. George and Phoebe Sparks, was born ca. 1798 in New Jersey, probably in Cumberland County. He was almost grown when he accompanied his parents to Ohio. There he married Martha Ballenger on October 12, 1820, in Logan County by William Ewens, a jus tice of the peace. She had been born ca. 1800 in New Jersey and may have been a daughter of Samuel Ballenger. Isaac and Martha were listed on the 1830, 1840, and 1850 censuses of Logan County, but by 1860 they had moved to Union County. According to these census records, it appears that they had ten children. They both died sometime after 1865.

101.1.1 Dau1 Sparks According to the enumeration of Isaac's household on the 1830 census, it appears that he and Martha had a daughter who was born between 1820 and 1825 whom we have been unable to identify.

101.1.2 Benjamin R. Sparks was born ca. 1823. He married Zephora Chidester on January 1, 1846, in Champaign County, Ohio, by the Rev. Thomas Bailenger. She had been born ca. 1825 in Virginia. She and Benjamin were listed in Wayne Township on the 1850 and 1860 censuses of Champaign County, but ca. 1866 they moved to Keokuk County, Iowa, where they were listed on the 1870 census. With them were their three children. Also living in their household was Benjamin's niece, 101.4.2 Marcia Alice Smith, 12, whose mother, Sarah (Sparks) Smith, had died in December 1865. We have found no further record of Benjamin and Zeppy. Holdridge Sparks was born in July 1850. Isaac G. Sparks was born December 4, 1856. He died on January 17, 1928. William Sparks was born ca. 1862.

101.3 Henry Sparks was born December 23, 1825. He was a saddler by occupation. He married Harriet Clingerman on October 16, 1845, in Logan County, Ohio, by the Rev. Thomas Ballenger, M.G.

She and Henry were still in Logan County when the 1850 census was taken, but sometime before the 1860 census was taken, they moved to Union County, Ohio. It was here that Henry decided to enlist in the Union Army in September 1864. He was almost forty years of age, but he served until he was mustered out with his company at the end of the war. (See page 4092 of this issue of the Quarterly for an abstract of his pension file.) When Henry Sparks returned to his family at the wars end, his health was greatly impaired. He died on December 4, 1896. Harriet died on January 10, 1899. They were buried in the Price Cemetery in Union County. They were the parents of nine children.

101.3.1 Castilla Angeline Sparks was born ca. 1846. She married John D. Matteson on October 12, 1870, in Union County

101.3.2 Charles F. Sparks was born ca. 1847. He married Louisa J. Temple on November 20, 1870, in Union County. He died in 1927.

101.3.3 Sarah Elizabeth Sparks was born in December 1849. She married Leander Bosart on January 21, 1869, in Union County. When the 1880 census was taken of Union County, she was living in the household of her parents. With her were her two children, Carry Bosart, born ca. 1870, and Lory Bosart, born ca. 1873

101.3.4 Louisa J. Sparks was born ca. 1852. She died in 1930.
101.3.5 Lawrence C. Sparks was born February 2, 1854. He died on February 28, 1861, and was buried in the Price Cemetery in Union County.
101.3.6 M. E. Sparks was born June 25, 1857. She died on March 24, 1861, and was buried in the Price Cemetery in Union County.
101.3.7 John G. Sparks was born February 4, 1861. He died on August 19, 1869, and was buried in the Price Cemetery.
101.3.8 William Sparks was born ca. 1867.
101.3.9 Isaac H. Sparks was born July 30, 1872. He married Anna MNU. She had been born in 1874 and died in 1910. Isaac died in 1952 and was buried beside his wife in the Price Cemetery.

101.4 Sarah Cecelia Sparks, daughter of Isaac and Martha (Ballenger) Sparks, was born ca. 1827 in Logan County. It was there that she married John Maguire Smith on September 13, 1854. He had been born ca. 1802 in Baltimore, Maryland; he was a widower. He and Sarah had four children before her untimely death on December 15, 1865, at the age of 38 years. John died on January 17, 1880, at West Liberty, Ohio.

101.4.1 Elizabeth Virginia Smith was born May 16, 1856. She died on August 5, 1871.

101.4.2 Marcia Alice Smith was born February 11, 1858. She married Leonidas Grear Wilson on January 9, 1884, in Logan County. Shortly afterwards, they moved to Frontier County, Nebraska, where four children were born to them: Bertha L., Howard P., Elgar E., and an unnamed son who died at birth. (Howard P. Wilson's daughter-in-law, Elizabeth F. Wilson, was mentioned at the beginning of this article as one of those doing research on George Sparks (ca.1770175-1840150) and his descendants. Mrs. Wilson has been most helpful in preparing this article.) Leoni das Grear Wilson died on July 4, 1895, and was buried in the Arapahoe Cemetery in Arapahoe, Nebraska. Marcia died on November 18, 1931, and was buried beside her husband.

101.4.3 Anna Smith was born October 4, 1859, and died on April 10, 1860.

101.4.4 John Marshall Smith, son of John Maguire and Sarah Cecelia (Sparks) Smith, was born January 28, 1861. He was married twice. His first marriage was to Christine ["Tena"] Metz ca. 1879, probably in Clarke County, Ohio. She had been born in Pennsylvania in May 1863; her parents were natives of Germany. She' and John had two children, Ann and Walter, before the marriage ended. John married (second) Martha Ellen (Carpenter) Clark on August 30, 1888, in Phelps County, Nebraska. She had been born on March 28, 1858, in Lee County, Illinois, to Hurlbut and Mary Ann (Woodruff) Carpenter. (She had been married to Seth James Clark on February 23, 1876, and they had five children be fore their marriage ended.) John Marshall and Martha Ellen (Car penter) Smith had five children. They were: Ethel, Marion, Mabel, Robert, and George. John died on July 18, 1929, at Pontiac, Michigan, and Martha Ellen died on October 25, 1940, in Page County, Iowa. Their son, Robert Smith, was the father-in- law of Mrs. Lerayne Smith, who has been very helpful in the preparation of this article.

101.5 Charles F. Sparks was born ca. 1829. He married Jane Bryant on January 26,1850, in Logan County. We have no further information about this couple.

101.6 A son was born to Isaac and Martha (Ballenger) Sparks between 1830 and 1835.

101.7 Martha P. Sparks was born ca. 1835. On a return of the "Number of Handicapped Persons in Union County, Ohio," made in May 1856, she was listed as 1'idiotic from birth, cause unknown.11

101.8 Isaac J. Sparks was born on September 29, 1837, in Logan County. He served in the Union Army during the Civil War and received a pension for his service. (See pp. 4393-94 of this issue of the Quarterly for an abstract of his pension file.) He was married twice. His first marriage was to Mary Brake on December 31, 1857, in Union County, Ohio. They had twelve children before Mary died on September 13, 1882. Isaac J. Sparks married (second) Louisa L. (Brown) Brake, widow of Michael J. Brake, on November 9, 1885. They had three children. Isaac died on March 4, 1918. Children by his first wife were:

101.8.1 Hiram L. Sparks was born ca. 1858. He died on June 15, 1882.
101.8.2 Celestia Sparks was born ca. 1860. She died in 1882.
101.8.3 Narcissa Angeline Sparks was born ca. 1863. She died in November 1913.
101.8.4 Aaron McClellan Sparks was born in October 1864.
101.8.5 James Almond Sparks was born January 4, 1867.
101.8.6 Oliver B. Sparks was born January 22, 1869.
101.8.7 Alice Helen Sparks was born December 25, 1870.
101.8.8 Nellie Sparks was born November 23, 1872.
101.8.9 Idella Sparks was born ca. 1874. She died on November 5, 1874.
101.8.10 Mary Etta Sparks was born ca. 1876. She died on October 5, 1879.
101.8.11 Harry Sparks was born March 5, 1878.
101.8.12 Frederick Sparks was born November 15, 1880.

The children of Isaac J. Sparks by his second marriage were:

101.8.13 Vashti Sparks was born ca. 1888. She died on January 30, 1889.
101.8.14 Florence B. Sparks was born September 4, 1890.
101.8.15 Edna Sparks was born August 16, 1892.

101.9 Phoebe Jane Sparks was born ca. 1840. She married Aaron Brake on August 6, 1859, in Union County, Ohio.

101.10 Harriet Louisa Sparks was born November 23, 1842. She married Martin Brake on March 30, 1861, in Union County. She died on June 28, 1893.

101.2 Samuel Sparks (who was mentioned in the Editor's Note at the beginning of this article) was probably a son of George and Phoebe Sparks. He was born April 15, 1800, in New Jersey and would have been in his teens when George and Phoebe Sparks came to Ohio. He married Mary Heard (often spelled Hurd) on May 26, 1825, in Clark County, Ohio. (Clark County adjoins Champaign County on the south; it had been created in 1818 from parts of Champaign, Madison, and Greene Counties.) Mary Heard (or Hurd) had been born in Ross County, Ohio, on October 25, 1805, and was a daughter of Thomas Heard (or Hurd). Descendants of Samuel and Mary have joined the Daughters of the American Revolution on the basis of her father's service in the American Revolution. (It is claimed that Thomas Heard was at Valley Forge and fought at the Battle of Brandywine where his brother, Wallace Heard [or Hurd] was killed.) A native of Berkeley County, Virginia, Thomas Heard was married there to Dorcas Morris; they moved to Fayette County, Kentucky, after the Revolution and later came to Clark County, Ohio, where Thomas died in 1813.

Samuel and Mary (Heard) Sparks were living in Urbana Township, Champaign County, Ohio, when the 1830 census was taken (as was also George Sparks whom we believe to have been Samuel's father). Samuel and Mary later moved to Illinois where they spent the remainder of their lives. According to a biographical sketch of Samuel and Mary's son, Samuel Sparks, Jr., published in 1901, they moved first to Sangamon County, Illinois, and later to Logan County, Illinois. (See page 4087 of this issue of the Quarterly for the full text of this biographical record.) Samuel and Mary Sparks were in Logan County, Illinois, when the 1840 census was taken, as they were in 1850 and 1860 when those censuses were taken. Samuel died there on September tember 22, 1865, and when the 1870 and 1880 censuses were taken of this county, his widow, Mary (Heard) Sparks, was shown as living in the house hold of their son, Samuel Sparks, Jr. She died on November 19, 1893. Samuel and Mary (Heard) Sparks had ten children.

(As noted above, following this article will be found a biographical sketch of Samuel Sparks, Jr. which was. published in 1901 in a history of Logan County, Illinois. That record contains information on the children of Samuel and Mary [Heard] Sparks which has been incorporated with the data supplied by descendants of this branch of the Sparks family.)

101.2.1 James Sparks, son of Samuel and Mary (Heard) Sparks, was born May 2, 1826, in Ohio, and accompanied his parents to Logan County, Illinois. He married Martha E. Weaver ca. 1861. She had been born in Tennessee on December 15, 1833, and died on December 1, 1909, according to the inscription on her tombstone in the Lucas Chapel Ceme tery near Lincoln in Logan Cpunty, Illinois. (It will be noted in the biographical sketch of her son, Jesse D. Sparks, reproduced on page 4--- that her year of birth was given as 1835.) James Sparks died on February 23, 1901, and was buried beside his wife. Additional biographical information on James Sparks will be found on page 4090 in the record of his son, Jesse D. Sparks, originally published in 1901. James and Martha (Weaver) Sparks were the parents of six children. Emma Sparks was born ca. 1862. She married A. J. Howard and was living in Broadwell Township, Logan County, in 1901. Jesse D. Sparks was born March 7, 1864. He was married on June 1, 1890, to Sarah C. Beaver. For a further record of his life and family, see the biographical sketch written in 1901, and reproduced in this issue of the Quarterly, pp. 4090-91. Mary Sparks was born in 1867 and died on October 17, 1882, at the age of 18 years, 3 months, and 7 days according to the inscrip tion on her tombstone in the Lucas Chapel Cemetery George Sparks was born ca. 1869. As indicated in the biographical sketch of James D. Sparks on page 4---, he was still living in 1901, the father of three children. Katie Sparks was born in 1871, and died on August 16, 1872, at the age of 1 year, 3 months, and 3 days according to her tombstone in the Lucas Chapel Cemetery in Logan County, Illinois. Lewis Sparks was born in 1873 and died on March 24, 1882, at the age of 9 years, 6 months, and 16 days according to his tomb stone in the Lucas Chapel Cemetery.

101.2.2 Elizabeth Ann Sparks, daughter of Samuel and Mary (Heard) Sparks, was born ca. 1828. She married Alexander Morely who died in Iowa; Elizabeth Ann died in in Kansas.

101.2.3 Phoebe Jane Sparks was born on October 12, 1830, in Ohio. She married Perry Miller, and they lived in Christian County, Illinois. She died on March 3, 1869.

101.2.4 John Sparks was born in 1833. He died when he was seven years old.

101.2.5 Susannah ["Susie"] Sparks was born in 1836. She died on November 23, 1853, and was buried in the Lucas Chapel Cemetery in Logan County, Illinois. Her tombstone gives her age as 17 years, 9 months, and 9 days.

101.2.6 Jesse D. Sparks was born ca. 1839 in Illinois. On August 2, 1862, he was enrolled in Company G, 106th Regiment Illinois Infantry and served until August 20, 1863. (See pp. 4094-95 of this issue of the Quarterly for an abstract of his pension application file.) According to a brief biography in a History of Logan County, Illinois, he lived near Middletown, Illinois, where he was a farmer. His wife's name is believed to have been Jennie Parker. A Democrat in politics and a Baptist, he died in Houston, Texas, according to relatives.

101.2.7 Eveline S. Sparks was born on March 31, 1841. She married E. M. Douglas, and in 1901 they were living in Mason County, Illinois.

101.2.8 Mary Sparks was born ca. 1843. She married Green Douglas and was living in Kansas in 1901.

101.2.9 Samuel Sparks, Jr. was born on October 31, 1846, near Lincoln in Logan County, Illinois. He was married twice, first to Mary Ellen Wendell, daughter of Thomas and Fannie (Warren) Wendell. She had been born on February 18, 1849, and died on October 7, 1887. She and Samuel had five children.

The second marriage of Samuel Sparks, Jr. was to Sarah ["Sadie"] Jane Maltby, daughter of James and Jane (Preston) Maltby. According to the biographical record of Samuel published in 1901 (see page 4089 of this issue of the Quarterly), this marriage took place in Sheridan Township, Logan County, Illinois, on December 11, 1889. She had been born on February 6, 1863. They had two children. Samuel Sparks, Jr. died on September 27, 1926, and was buried beside his first wife in Lucas Chapel Cemetery. Fannie Sparks was born on December 15, 1868. She married Commodore N. Beaver. They were living in York County, Nebraska, in 1901. Thomas Sparks was born on March 8, 1870. He married Mary Mitchell, and they were living in York County, Nebraska, in 1901. He died on July 3, 1955. Charles Franklin Sparks was born April 7, 1875. He was married on April 10, 1895, to Mary Elizabeth Maltby, daughter of John and Eliza (Lucas) Maltby, who had been born on September 4, 1874, in Logan County, Illinois. One of their children was Clara S. Snyder of Peoria, Illinois, an early member of our Association who contributed information used in this article. Charles Franklin Sparks died on April 4, 1943; his wife, Mary E. (Maltby) Sparks, died on October 7, 1951. Both were buried in the Lucas Chapel Cemetery. Their children were named Lydia Sparks Walter Sparks Fanny Jane Sparks Clara Sparks. She marriedFNU Snyder. Franklin Sparks Harold Sparks Warren Sparks Edna Sparks Ralph Sparks Samuel Tilden Sparks was born October 8, 1876. He married Minnie Catherine Raber on January 7, 1899, at Springfield, Illinois. She had been born on January 21, 1880, and was a daughter to Earnest and Mary Elizabeth (Bock) Raber. She and Samuel had five children: Ferne, Mary E., Norma, Samuel, and Myrl. (The eldest daughter, Ferne [Sparks] Gasaway, a longtime member of the Association, has fur nished the information about her parents' family.) Marion Elvin Sparks was born July 27, 1887. He married Sue Primm on November 10, 1909, and they had five children: Russell Sparks Margaret Sparks. (Margaret [Sparks] Wilmert, a longtime member of the Association, has furnished the information about her parents' family.) Wayne Sparks Gertrude Sparks Marion Sparks. Hazel Sparks was born January 28, 1898. She married Raymond Reinhardt. Mildred Sparks was born January 26,1909. She married Everett Hembreiker.

101.2.10 Sarah Sparks, daughter of Samuel and Mary (Heard) Sparks, was born ca. 1849. She married Dr. Hugh Fleming, and they were living in Oklahoma in 1901. She died on August 27, 1923.

101.3 Dau2 Sparks whom we have been unable to identify was born to George and Phoebe Jane Sparks was born between 1804 and 1810.

101.4 George Sparks, Jr. was born March 10, 1811, in New Jersey. He accompanied his parents to Ohio where he married Malinda Reese on August 14, 1834, in Champaign County, Ohio. They were married by Samuel Clark, M.G. Malinda had been born ca. 1811 in Ohio. George was a brick mason. He and Malinda continued to live in the town of Urbana in Logan County, Illinois, until his death on June 22, 1888. According to census records, he and Malinda appear to have had four children.

101.4.1 William Sparks was born ca. 1836 in Ohio.
101.4.2 Mary Sparks was born ca. 1840.
101.4.3 Sarah Sparks was born ca. 1844.
101.4.4 John Sparks was born ca. 1847.

101.5 Son1 Sparks was born to George and Phoebe Sparks between 1810 and 1815 whom we have not positively identified. He may, however, have been the John Sparks who married Louisa Rebecca Crothers in Champaign County, Ohio, on January 13, 1842. This John Sparks may have died (or he and his wife may have separated) prior to 1850. Shown on the 1850 census of Logan County, Illinois, quite near the household of Samuel Sparks (whom we believe to have been a son of George and Phoebe, see page 4084) was a household headed by Louisa Sparks, age 28, a native of Kentucky. Living with her were four Sparks children:

101.5.1 George Sparks, 8;
101.5.2 Martha J. Sparks, 5;
101.5.3 Rhoda Sparks, 2; and
101.5.4 John Sparks, 1 year of age.

The eldest boy, George, had been born in Ohio, but the others were shown as having been born in Illinois. (For a transcript of this census record, see page 2507 of the March 1983 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 121.) It seems rather probable that this Louisa Sparks shown on the 1850 census of Logan County, Illinois, was the same Louisa Rebecca (Crothers) Sparks whose marriage to 101.5.x4 John Sparks took place in Champaign County, Ohio, on January 13, 1842.

101.5.5 Dau1 (Sarah) Sparks
101.5.6 Dau2 (Susan) Sparks

These two daughters were born to George and Phoebe Sparks between 1815 and 1820, according to census records. There is a possibility that they were Sarah Sparks and Susan Sparks, both of whom were married in Champaign County, Ohio, at about the time daughters of George and Phoebe born between 1815 and 1820 would have come of age.

Sarah Sparks married James Baillie on June 7, 1834, in Champaign County by Samuel R. Clark, M.G. Clark appears to have been the same clergyman who married George Sparks and Malinda Reese on August 14, 1834, also in Champaign County. (See 101.4 above.)

Susan Sparks married Stephen Vineyard on January 8, 1840, by John C. Pearson, M.G., in Champaign County.